“If you don’t have people that care about the usability of your project, your project is doomed. Jeff Atwood – Co-Founder Stack OverFlow
What is it?
The User Experience (UX for short) is how easily users can interact with your product and it’s something the digital design world has finally embraced in the last few years (we have no idea why it’s taken this long)
User Experience Design is often overlooked by the normal person because great user experience isn’t even noticed by the user. It just feels right.
A good non-tech example that hopefully makes sense are cup holders in cars. Master designers who think about the UX of a product first, put them in not only easy to reach places, but they ‘hide’ them in locations that don’t interfere with the other usability of features for that car. If you’ve seen a car that has cup holders in the doors, on the armrest in the back seat, or has one large cup holder for Super Sized Orange Mocha Frappuccinos size drinks in the front,
then you should know what we’re talking about.
However, the very best designers also know who the end customer is of the product. For example: there are a lot more cupholders in a mini-van than a Bentley Phantom. The mini-van has big, basic, cupholders that are easy to put a drink into. They also tend to be very visual, so the target customer (familes) don’t miss and spill when they use them. However, a bentley hides them carefully and makes the experience of the cup holder elegant.
To summarize this example, it’s not just the total # of cup holders, the size, placement, nor reachability, but the combination of all these with the end customer in mind.
We hope that example didn’t lose you!! A one sentence explanation is “The process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the user and the product.” (wikipedia)
UX First Steps
As long as you haven’t skipped chapters, you know that we’ve already went over how we determine the basics of the app, we have some idea to what problem we’re trying to solve, and also know a bit about the industry. However, we need to understand how the problem is currently being solved, and how that can apply to what we’re creating to make the best user experience possible.
User Experience Factors
- Platform: Each platform or operating system has an expected way of the UX of certain functionality. iPhones do not have have a physical button, whereas does. This slight difference is a huge factor in how Android apps should be different than iOS.
- Current Methods: What is the current method of buying, selling, or doing whatever process your app is trying to improve? What can we learn from this, and how can we improve?
- Competition: Is there already someone in the market? What does their app look like? How do they solve the problem? Do they solve the problem? What do customers like about their version? Customer: Does the customer truly want to change their current methods? Is your experience that much better? Does it really solve a problem for customers?
We ask these questions to confirm that we are not only solving the customer’s problem, but we’re doing in a way that is much better, cheaper, faster, smoother, than their current method in an easy to consume format.
Our very first step for our UX is doing very rough wireframes freehand with a pen and paper. It’ll most likely be on a yellowpad since Patrick does the initial freehand wireframes with the client, and it’s prefered design weapon. We go through rapid iterations, and we focus on the core of the app. We will present a few options for each page of your app, and we then allow you to take some time to think about it and discuss with your team.
After a few slight freehand iterations, we will create web or mobile wireframes that will start to resemble the end product. Here’s an example of a few iterations of the wireframe of our current site.
The one thing that we should note here is that we spent considerable time planning this site before the first web version was produced, and we also had some brand guidelines and the city scape completed.